Car sales rev up in France despite morose mood

1st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 1 (AFP) - Sales of new cars in France rose 2.5 percent in March compared with the same month last year, the French automobile manufacturers' association said Friday, noting that the increase came despite a "morose" economic climate.

PARIS, April 1 (AFP) - Sales of new cars in France rose 2.5 percent in March compared with the same month last year, the French automobile manufacturers' association said Friday, noting that the increase came despite a "morose" economic climate.

Based on a comparable number of working days registrations of new cars gained 7.2 percent in March from the same month in 2004.

"Despite a rather morose climate and lacklustre consumption, the French automobile market for private cars remains appropriate and is doing better overall (along with Spain) than markets in other major European countries," the association said in a statement.

Sales in the first three months of the year grew 3.9 percent in unadjusted figures compared with the January-March period of 2004.

French brands captured 58.5 percent of the market last month, down from60.3 percent in March 2004.

Sales at Renault expanded two percent for a market share of 28 percent, against 28.1 percent a year earlier.

At PSA Peugeot Citroen, sales slipped 2.7 percent, taking market share down to 30.5 percent from 32.1 percent in March 2004.

Among foreign manufacturers, BMW enjoyed a 21.9 percent jump in sales in March for a market share of 2.4 percent. Another German firm, Volkswagen, saw sales rise 19.9 percent for market share of 10 percent.

Sales rose 6.2 percent at Ford, four percent at Toyota, 4.3 percent at DaimlerChrysler, 1.4 percent at Nissan and 0.6 percent at Fiat.

Hyundai of South Korea reported a 27 percent fall in March sales from the same month last year while General Motors said its sales were down 5.3 percent.

The association also reported Friday that the automobile sector posted a record foreign trade surplus of EUR 12.7 billion (USD 16.5 billion) in 2004, an increase of EUR 900 million over 2003.

Exports increased 11 percent in value to EUR 54 billion, representing 15.9 percent of all French exports. Automobile imports were up 12 percent at EUR 41.3 billion, accounting for 12.3 percent of all French imports last year.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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